As life spans lengthen and Americans grow older, many people are choosing to “age in place.” What does this mean? Instead of changing their living situation, many are modifying their current home in order to live safely and independently in a familiar environment. The benefits of aging in place are numerous from maintaining your community, to affordability.
There are simple solutions to many of the challenges of aging. In this post, we have listed some easy solutions that assist with seeing better in your home, preventing falls, and keeping you or your loved ones safe.
Change your lightbulbs and add more lights.
As our eye muscles weaken and the lenses in our eyes turn more yellow, things becoming more difficult to see is one of the first signs of aging we experience. Using blue or white lights that are at least 600 lumens will make it easier to see in your home, as well as adding more light in the functional areas of your home.
Create a landing pad at the top and bottom of your stairs
Much like adding more lighting, creating a landing pad helps us see a little better. As we get older, depth perception becomes more difficult. Delineating the beginning and end of your stairs is one step to take to make using your stairs a little safer.
Paint walls so they contrast against floors
Another aid to help depth perception is adding some color. If your floors and walls are the same or very similar colors, painting your walls a color with more contrast will make it easier to navigate your home.
Reinforce your stair railings and bannisters
Climbing stairs requires more effort and support as we age. Making sure your stair railings and bannisters are reinforced so you can use them for extra leverage when climbing the stairs.
Install grab bars in your bathroom
As we get older, it can become more and more difficult to step out of a shower or tub without extra support, increasing the risk of slipping. Installing grab bars for support in bathrooms and showers will help you get in and out of the shower safely and easily. #GRABDASHBAR offers grab bars for every style and configuration based on what you need.
Add floor covering or replace floors
You’re more likely to slip if you’re walking around without shoes or slippers, and some floor surfaces are more slippery than others. Consider replacing very slippery floors with slip-resistant slate or vinyl, or adding a high contrast floor covering to prevent falls.
Install lever door handles
Lever handles are easier to open than doorknobs, especially if you’re carrying something. Instead of trying to maneuver to open the door with your hand, with a lever handle you would only need to push down on it.
Research shows that 30-50% of home accidents among seniors can be prevented through home repairs and modifications. Small updates to your home can have a large impact on your safety, keeping it so you can live independently and comfortably at home.